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Senior Partner – Community Care
Nigel Priestley is the Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings.
He has won the Law Society Highly Commended Solicitor of the Year as well as being shortlisted in the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award 2008. He was named as the Winner of the Solicitor of the Year (private practice) in the National Law Society Excellence Awards for 2010.
More recently, Nigel won the Legal Champion of the Year Award at the Kinship Care Awards 2013 and was shortlisted for the Family Law Partner of the Year at the Family Law Awards 2015.
He has taken the lead in bringing Judicial Review proceedings on behalf of children placed with Kinship Carers. These actions are to ensure that local authorities fulfill their legal obligations towards Family and Friends Carers and the children who are living with them.
He has been involved in landmark decisions as a result of Judicial Reviews he has brought. These include a successful challenge against Kirklees when they were paying Special Guardianship Allowance at 2/3 the Fostering Allowance. In another case the Court of Appeal set out when children living with grandparent carers should be regarded as ‘looked after’ children.
He represents children, parents and grandparents in care proceedings. He has been involved in cases in the High Court which have been reported in the legal press including a foreign adoption and the making of Wardship Orders in care proceedings where the children suffered serious global developmental delay.
Nigel is a trustee of the Family Rights Group. He works closely with the Grandparents Association and Grandparents Plus and many support organisations. Over £750,000 has been paid to carers in respect of back paid Fostering Allowances as a result of actions in which Nigel has been involved.
Nigel has spoken at conferences organised by the Grandparents Association, BAAF and Grandparents Plus. He is acknowledged as one of the leading experts on the law regarding support for grandparent and kinship carers
Nigel is concerned about the support given to adopters. He is a member of Adoption UK and advises adopters facing post adoption support challenges as to their rights.
Nigel helped set up the unique Twinning Link between Huddersfield Law Society and the Uganda Law Society in 2002. The link has provided legal resources and training for Ugandan lawyers. He is a lay reader.
He is a grandfather himself and understands the pressures on grandparent carers!